Meet the Roses | Angove’s Nine Vines Rosé


Angove's Nine Vine's Rose

By the time I got home, last night, I was more than ready to kick off my shoes (ironic, as I’d just been to the opening of our local DSW and found the holy grail of show shopping: red tag clearance on Nine West kitten heels) and pour myself a glass of something tasty.

But what would it be? We started our little rosé odyssey in Italy, steam-rolled through California, where would our next stop find us? How about Australia?

Southern Australia, to be exact, to try out Angove’s blend of 70% Grenache and 30& Shiraz rosé. From the bottle notes:

Zesty fruit flavours of red currant and raspberry from the Grenache combine with spicy cherry of the Shiraz to give a refreshing drinking experience. Enjoy this wine with spicy warm chicken salad or your favorite curry.

The red wine drinker’s white wine.

Shiraz is one of those grapes that, for me, tends to be too sweet, but I was hoping–when I picked up this bottle last month–that the majority share of Grenache would make it more my style. The color is a bit deeper than our previous rosés–a darker pink edging towards scarlet instead of salmon. The nose reminds me of white wine all the way–crisp, a little fruity, but light–so imagine my surprise when the taste had the… assertiveness? of a red. There might just be something to that whole red-drinker’s-white claim after all.

Where last week’s white zinfandel just kinda laid there, the Nine Vines stands up for itself, saying “I’m here, what are you gonna do about it, mate?”

To which the logical reply would be simply to take another sip. There areberries, but not overly sweet ones, the beginning of depths but not dark-corner, midnight-of-the-soul depths that a true red would tempt you with, and just a hint of spice in the finish–you know the kind that makes the insides of your lips tingle a bit, like you’ve just been good and kissed?

For supper Todd was making pork with a red pepper sauce, so I thought I’d try this wine out with it and it did very well with an Italian-spiced sauce and whole wheat pasta.

All in all, Angove’s Nine Vines Rosé was not what I was expecting, but in a very good way. If I’m not mistaken, I picked this one up on my if-it’s-pink-I’ll-take-it cruise of the local Cost Plus/World Market, so this bottle is probably less than $10. If I were in a middle kind of mood (don’t necessarily want red OR white), I’d probably pick this one up again.

Even if it is screw-top. 😉

Meet the Roses | Beringer White Zinfandel


Beringer White Zinfandel bottle and poured glass
Many, many years ago I was at some local event with my then-boyfriend (seriously, no clue why we were there; concert? party?) and they had a cash bar.* This was before I discovered my love of red wines and well before Pinot Noir was as plentiful as it is, today, so I asked if they had white wine. They did. And they proceded to pour me half a cocktail cup (one of those 10-oz plastic ones) of something pink.

“But I said white wine.”

“Yeah, it’s White Zinfandel.”

Not wanting to pick a fight with the large man in the t-shirt across the bar, I thought “whatever” and drank it.

And I was not a fan.

I’ve yet to try one that has impressed me and avoid them in general. Red Zinfandel I have no problem with, but White? Not so much.

The disclaimer of the above notwithstanding, I really hoped this bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel would change my mind. Or, at the very least, temper my opinion of what I’ve heretofore considered the kool-aid of the wine world (you know how red kool-aid doesn’t always have a particular fruit flavor, is sweet but also kinda thin? exactly how I see white zin).

Alas, my mind has not been changed.

I chilled it, as the bottle recommended. I was happy to see a cork instead of the ubiquitous screw-top. And I chose it for it’s recognizable name and really, really wanting to believe the “America’s Favorite” scripted on the label.

If that’s true, I weep for our collective palates.

The color is a rather vibrant peachy-pink, the nose suggested fruit (certainly not a bad thing) but it was a bit muddled. The flavor? Lackluster. It had a mushy mouth-feel with no discernible flavors other than sweetish. Smooth? Sure, to the point of boredom. It just sat there, it failed to excite.

The thing is, I like sweet wines. Moscato is music to my mouth! There’s a Blackberry wine made a few hours east of me that I would bathe in were it prudent or affordable to do so! I even like the fruity Arbor Mist blended wine beverages–some of them are very tasty and great for a summer party.

And, yet, white zinfandel leaves me unimpressed.

But I’m just one girl who likes wine and, while neither a connoisseur nor wine snob, tries to give each wine a fair shake. Many people love this wine (be it for reasons of price, availability, or maybe because it’s middle of the road and that’s what they’re after) and, well, more power to you ya, I guess. I just won’t be joining you in a glass of White Zinfandel any time soon.

Now to see if the remains of the bottle might make a decent sangria. It might be akin to making a silk purse from a sow’s ear, but I hate wasting a bottle of wine, even if it was only $6!


*Said even took place at the local VFW hall and their standard contract, I believe, is to handle the liquor sales for any given event held there, so the bartender being in a t-shirt and trucker hat–way before trucker hats came back into “fashion”–affords my memory no clues as to the nature of the event

Meet the Wines: What IS Rosé


We’ve done the reds, we’ve done the whites, now it’s time to tread the middle and meet the Rosés.

Rosés (Spanish: rosado, Italian: rosato, N.America: sometimes blush) are, generally speaking, a wine with more of a white wine profile from traditionally red wine grapes. And Rosé can be produced in three ways–two of which I knew about.

  • Skin Contact starts out like regular red wine, with the grape skins hanging out with the juice, but instead of co-macerating for the long haul, the skins are pulled out after only a few days, leaving the wine on the pink end of the spectrum but well before the tannins of red wine can develop.
  • Blending is just what it sounds like: you take the white, you take the red, you take them both and then you have? No, not the facts of life, the truth of Rosé. Only, well, this isn’t the usual way of doing things. It actually seems to be frowned upon except in Champagne, France, but even there the 3rd method is more popular.
  • Saignée (no, don’t ask me how to say it, either), is similar to Skin Contact but instead of draining the skins out to produce a light-colored wine, some of the early wine is drained off to concentrate the remaining red wine, and then the juice that was taken out gets fermented on its own.

And if you leave the skins in white wine you can actually end up with Orange wine, still considered, in the grand scheme of things, a Rosé.

Over the next 4 weeks I’m going to be sharing 4 random Rosés and, yes, I’ll even sample my least favorite wine ever: White Zinfandel (only I’m hoping the wine guys can steer me to a decent one).

The things I do for this blog 😉